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Word Count: 890
Beneath the concrete layers and behind the flashing neon signs lies a memory of another Japan one defined by scented fans mannered dances and the haunting echo of a shamisen stringed instrument Arthur Golden author of the meaningful book Memoirs of a Geisha offers readers an entry to this old time Goldens novel actually takes place in a country rapidly industrializing for the coming World War II Like a geisha who has mastered the art of illusion Golden creates a isolated floating world out of the engines of a modernizing Japan And this sleight-of-hand is what draws us into the book and keeps us thoroughly absorbed The novel as a whole kept me completely enthralled due to both its simplicity and complexity It is simply a fairy tale of a young girl who goes from rags to riches in a more modern method and is complicated with those who take part in this rite of passage the experiences she goes through and coming to terms with her own self The story begins in a rickety fishing village where a somber gray-eyed child named Chiyo is busy trying to keep the stench of salmon guts and the sickly odor of her mothers cancer out of her home When Chiyos mother dies her father sells his daughter to an elite boardinghouse where she will train to become a high-class geisha The eight-year-old Chiyo makes her entrance into Gion the heart of Kyotos water trade Here 800 perfectly painted women rustle past in brocaded kimonos their wooden sandals leaving tiny imprints in the snow But underneath Gions lacquered finish is a cruel core A jealous master named Hatsumomo who lives in the Okiya with Chiyo sets out to ruin her clawing at the youngsters future with the desperation of a woman who knows she will be dominated when the gray-eyed girl blossoms The only touch the hungry and homesick Chiyo feels is when Auntie poured a bucket of
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